Casa Susi is raising money to repair their crumbling roof. Will you help them reach their goal?
Those of you who have walked the Camino Frances in the last few years may have had the good fortune of staying at Casa Susi, a lovely donativo albergue housed in a Heritage Listed Building in Trabadelo, Spain. Casa Susi is run by Susi, an Aussie, and Fermín, a Spaniard, who met and fell in love on the Camino. They have been welcoming pilgrims into their home since 2017. A night full of love, support, and laughter are forever etched into the hearts of pilgrims that are the recipients of Susi and Fermín’s hospitality. Don’t just take our word for it though. Here are a few of the notes grateful pilgrims have left behind:
Many pilgrims who stay at Casa Susi express their immediate connection to the Casa Susi family thanks to the warm, welcoming atmosphere that Susi and Fermín provide in their thoughtful and beautiful home. With only 12 beds, Casa Susi offers an intimate accommodation for any pilgrim lucky enough to walk through their doors. Every night they cook up a delicious communal vegetarian meal with ingredients from their own garden! By the end of their stay, pilgrims are refueled with the encouragement and nourishment needed to continue on their long journey.
Click through for a taste of the charming Casa Susi albergue
Tales from the Camino
Susi and Fermin are fun, caring souls. They have a treasure chest full of brilliant stories about their time as hospitaleros. Here a couple of their favorites:
A Special Tradition
We have had over 75 different nationalities stay at Casa Susi in our 3 years. Only one country has a tradition here – Israel. It started back in 2017 when Ruthie stayed. The morning after Ruthie left I found her message in my ‘precious’ guest book. She had written in English & Hebrew (photo attached) with a comment saying I’d need more Israelies to translate. Israel is not high on the list of large numbers walking the Camino so I waited….A few months later early on Sunday morning I saw two young men sitting on the curb opposite our door. I went out to see if I could help them. One of them was sick & they were hoping to stay with us but it was before 10am & we didn’t open until 1pm.
I made them some tea and toast & I went to clean the bedroom from the previous evening. By 11am I had them both settled in bed. I told them they would get a good rest before the next pilgrims arrived. Later in the afternoon I checked on them & both were feeling much better & very grateful so I said we’d do their registration. Delight, I had 2 more Israelies. I told them they owed me a favour to translate a message.
I cried when they read Ruthies message & so the tradition began. Itay & Assant left the next Hebrew message, which didn’t get translated until the following year. Their message got translated & the new message was written first day of our second season!
That year we got another 6 messages to translate & one was a song which they asked the pilgrim to play. So not only do they leave a message for us within that message they also leave a message to the reader. It’s a very special tradition at Casa Susi.
The Camino Provides
We’d opened our doors to start another day at Casa Susi. There are 6 places to stay in Trabadelo & we are in the middle of the village. This day we had no reservations so it’s a matter of waiting to see who or how many pilgrims will walk through the doors.
The camino has 3 routes to arrive in our village from Villafranca. Main route along the valley floor.Second option (about 10% of pilgrims take this path) is the mountain climb via Paradela or the very quiet most difficult route via Dragonte. All of these routes bring you in at different points.
A man arrived from the Pradela route. He explained he wasn’t staying with us as his plan was to walk another 18 km but he’d found a mobile phone on the mountain path & was hoping he could leave it with us in case someone asked if one had been handed in. Strange this man had walked passed 3 albergues before arriving at our door. The phone was off & was out of charge when we tried to switch it on.We said no problem & we’d get word around the village that we had a phone if anyone asked. He said he’d seen no one up there walking so it was possible it could have been there since the day before. We thanked him said buen camino & finished our lunch.
After lunch another man appeared to stay with us. I went to do the checkin. I made him to tea & we started to chat. I asked how his camino was, explained all about Casa Susi & filled in the paperwork. We chatted for 15 minutes or more when he started to open up.
He started telling me about his feelings on the camino how in the last day he had been too focused on things outside of the camino & not living in the moment.So he’d walked the mountain route to refocus & to listen to what the universe was trying to tell him & he’d realised he’d lost his phone! At this point I’m bursting(quietly inside!)So though he was upset he was peaceful about the situation & it was just meant to be….
At this point I excused myself which was slightly rude as it was a deep conversation but I couldn’t keep it together any longer. I rushed upstairs got Fermín & the phone. We both came downstairs together & I opened my hands with his phone inside. His face was a absolute picture. I was crying & both Fermín & this guy were hugging. He’d learnt his lesson but it didn’t need to be as dramatic as losing his phone completely which would have made other things difficult for him.
The Camino once again provides.
A brutal 2020
Due to strict restrictions imposed by the Spanish government, Susi and Fermin were unable to open in 2020. On top of that, they have been unable to supplement their income with external work due to the job shortage in regional Spain. Of course, travel within Spain and to other countries is either impractical or impossible. As one of the very first recipients of Camino for Good relief funds, Casa Susi holds a special place in the Camino for Good family. Thanks to our virtual pilgrims, we’ve been able to help them cover their fixed expenses during this period of zero income.
Susi tells their story in her own words in this interview done with Rob from the YouTube Channel, RobsCamino last October:
Casa Susi Needs your Help
Many Virtual Pilgrims have expressed interest in wanting to help out more. Now is your chance! The roof of Casa Susi is crumbling, and it needs to be repaired. If the roof is not attended to quickly the building will become unusable and unsafe and Casa Susi will close.
It would truly be a shame to lose such a bright and celebrated albergue on the Camino Frances. We hope each and every one of you will stay with Susi and Fermín when you walk the Camino in Spain one day. We can make sure that happens by saving Casa Susi’s roof today! A good friend of Susi and Fermin, pilgrim Peter Abildgaard, has started a Go FundMe campaign to raise funds to replace/repair Casa Susi’s roof. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for any amount you are able to give.
Learn more about Casa Susi
Susi loves sharing stories and photos from Trabadelo on the Casa Susi Facebook page.
Dan Mullin's Podcast
Susi and Fermín shared their Camino love story in a wonderful podcast with Dan Mullins.
I'll Push You Interview
Justin and Patrick, creators of I’ll Push You, interviewed Susi and Fermín recently as part of the I’ll Push You X Camino for Good film screening fundraiser!